15 Bad Hygiene Habits That Are Way Worse Than You Thought

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We all have our little quirks when it comes to personal hygiene. But what if some of these habits are doing more harm than good? You might be surprised to learn that some everyday practices could affect your health in ways you never imagined.

Here are 15 bad hygiene habits that are way worse than you thought and tips on how to break them. Get ready to make some changes to make you healthier!

Sharing Towels

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Sharing towels might seem harmless, especially with family. However, it can spread bacteria and fungi, leading to infections.

Towels can potentially harbor bacteria, especially when damp, and sharing them can transfer germs, causing skin infections and other issues. To maintain hygiene, ensure everyone in your household has their towel and wash them frequently.

Overusing Antibacterial Products

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Antibacterial soaps and hand sanitizers are popular, but overuse can do more harm than good. Excessively using antibacterial products can kill good bacteria and contribute to antibiotic resistance.

The FDA has also questioned the long-term safety of some ingredients in these products. It’s best to stick to regular soap and water for most handwashing and reserve antibacterial products for situations where you don’t have access to soap and water.

Not Cleaning Your Phone

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Your phone goes everywhere with you, collecting germs along the way. Yet, it’s often overlooked when it comes to cleaning. Studies have shown that phones can be dirtier than toilet seats.

Regularly touching your dirty phone and then your face can lead to acne and other skin issues. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down your phone daily. For a deeper clean, use a mixture of water and alcohol on a cloth, but avoid getting moisture into any openings.

Ignoring the Back of Your Neck and Ears

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When showering, it’s easy to focus on the obvious areas and neglect spots like the back of your neck and ears. These areas can accumulate sweat and dirt, leading to irritation and infections. Neglecting them can also cause unpleasant odors.

To ensure these areas stay clean, make it a point to thoroughly clean the back of your neck and ears every time you shower. Use a gentle scrub or washcloth to ensure these spots are as clean as the rest of your body.

Not Washing Makeup Brushes

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Makeup brushes collect oil, dirt, and bacteria over time. Using dirty brushes can lead to skin problems and infections. Unwashed brushes can cause breakouts, eye infections, and other skin issues.

Dermatologists recommend cleaning them regularly to avoid these problems. To maintain cleanliness, wash your makeup brushes at least once a week using a gentle soap or brush cleaner and allow them to air dry completely.

Sleeping on Dirty Pillowcases

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Pillowcases collect sweat, oils, and dead skin cells, making them a breeding ground for bacteria. Sleeping on dirty pillowcases can cause acne and other skin irritations and contribute to allergies and respiratory issues.

To avoid these problems, change your pillowcases at least once a week. If you’re prone to acne, consider changing them more frequently.

Not Washing Reusable Water Bottles

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Reusable water bottles are eco-friendly, but if not cleaned properly, they can harbor harmful bacteria. Drinking from an unwashed bottle can introduce bacteria into your system, leading to stomach issues and other infections.

To avoid these health risks, rinse your bottle daily and clean it with soap and water at least once a week, paying extra attention to the cap and any hard-to-reach areas.

Not Washing Hands Properly

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Washing your hands is the first line of defense against germs. However, many people don’t do it correctly. Simply rinsing your hands with water isn’t enough. Proper handwashing can prevent the spread of illnesses like the flu, cold, and even more severe diseases.

According to the CDC, washing hands with soap and water can reduce diarrheal diseases by 30% and respiratory infections by 20%. Use soap and scrub all parts of your hands, including between your fingers and under your nails, for at least 20 seconds. Don’t forget to dry your hands thoroughly, as damp hands can attract more germs.

Using the Same Toothbrush for Too Long

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Your toothbrush harbors bacteria and should be replaced regularly. Keeping it around too long can lead to gum disease and other oral issues. The American Dental Association recommends changing your toothbrush every three to four months. If the bristles are frayed, it’s time for a new one.

To minimize bacterial growth, store your toothbrush upright and allow it to air dry. Avoid keeping it in a closed container where bacteria can thrive.

Not Flossing Daily

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Many people skip flossing, thinking brushing is enough. However, flossing removes food particles and plaque that brushing alone can’t reach. Ignoring flossing can lead to gum disease, cavities, and bad breath.

It’s estimated that nearly half of all adults suffer from some form of gum disease. Incorporate flossing into your daily routine. It only takes a few minutes but can make a difference in oral health.

Wearing Shoes in the House

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Wearing shoes indoors can bring in dirt, bacteria, and allergens from outside. A study found that shoes can carry over 400,000 units of bacteria, including E. coli. Bringing this into your home can contaminate floors and carpets.

The solution is to adopt a no-shoes policy inside the house. Provide slippers or socks for yourself and guests to wear indoors.

Not Washing Your Face Before Bed

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Failing to cleanse your face before bed can trap dirt, oil, and makeup, triggering breakouts and skin troubles. Sleeping with makeup on can block pores, resulting in acne and irritation while also accelerating skin aging and dullness. Cultivate the habit of nightly face washing, using a mild cleanser that suits your skin.

Skipping Regular Dental Visits

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Routine dental check-ups are vital for upholding oral health. Neglecting these appointments may trigger severe dental problems like cavities and gum disease.

Overlooking dental visits can result in costly treatments later on. To stay proactive, aim to see your dentist bi-annually for check-ups and cleanings and adhere to their recommendations for sustaining excellent oral hygiene.

Not Cleaning Your Belly Button

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The belly button is often forgotten during regular hygiene routines but can collect dirt and bacteria. Neglecting to cleanse this area can result in infections and unpleasant odors, particularly crucial with a navel piercing.

Utilize a cotton swab moistened with warm water or alcohol to cleanse your belly button delicately. Aim for regular cleaning, ideally weekly, to maintain hygiene and prevent complications.

Biting Your Nails

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Nail-biting is a common bad habit that can introduce germs and bacteria into your mouth. Your nails can harbor dirt and bacteria, which you transfer to your mouth when you bite them. This can lead to infections and digestive issues.

To break the habit, keep your nails trimmed and use a nail-biting deterrent polish if needed. Additionally, find alternative ways to manage stress, such as using a stress ball.

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